Summer Watering Basics
Watering in the summer is a complex topic that can be vastly researched in order to gain a better understanding of the appropriate technique. With that in mind, here are some basic tips:
- Watering in the early morning is the best time of day to water. If you water after the sun has gone down, your plants may sit in water all night which can make them susceptible to disease. Watering during the day maximizes evaporation and is inefficient.
- Use mulch. Mulch helps lock in moisture.
- Use the power of observation. Sometimes plants' leaves will turn brown and begin to wilt when they are being over watered. Put your hand under the mulch and into the soil to determine dryness. Observe the weather. If we get times of cloud cover and rain, you may need to water less.
- This one is tricky: Water deeper and less frequently. This rule applies for anything that is in the ground. When you do water, don't do shallow watering. Watering a landscape for 5 minutes by hand a couple times a week won't do. Think of it this way: roots chase the water. If you water and really soak your plants, you will encourage your plants' roots to thrive deeper in the soil. If you water inadequately and the water penetrates the ground a couple inches deep, you are encouraging shallow roots. The first few inches of the soil is the first part to dry out which makes it difficult for plants to thrive under inadequate watering. Try watering two to three times a week and really soak your plants. Again, go back to the first three rules to determine how often your plants need to be watered.
- Keep your plants well fed. Healthy plants that have been given proper nutrition handle drought better than plants that are already compromised by malnutrition.
- Know your plants. Familiarize yourself with the type of plants you have and their specific needs in order to best care for them.